I have a soft spot for amphibians. In Germany, about half of all species are endangered to some extent.
As for the water:
Certainly they are drawn to the water/moisture. The other day I have read about creating a habitat for amphibians by installing a kind of drip irrigation. When there are natural occurrences of the amphibians nearby, they will show up there. It is also important to provide different kinds of water (ponds, very small water spots which can fall dry on occasions) so that different species might get a chance to spawn. In an artificial pond you might get toads and dragonflies who devour the tadpoles of the rarer species, at least that is the situation here in central Europe.
Good luck with further sightings.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. (E.E.Hale)
Yes, the toads I see fairly regularly, so the territoriality thing makes sense. The frog was the bigger surprise. The creek, where I would expect to find him, is about 300 yards down the hill. A fair bit of hopping, even for a determined hopper!
I have read that type of frog also likes grassland/meadow, and I have noticed a fair number of grasshoppers in the area around the barn - perhaps those tasty treats are motivating the long range hopping through black snake/coyote/fox country!
“All good things are wild, and free.” Henry David Thoreau
I am a big fan of the "pocket pond" idea popularized by Mark Shepard. These are small ponds that likely dry out at the peak of summer but provide amphibian habitat for several weeks in the spring and early summer. We had terrible slug pressure in the "back to eden" garden which resolved with one "pond" of about 2' x 3' x 2' right next to the bed.
Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails
Toads hunker down in a wet spot during the day or actually bury themselves, then come out at night, so not surprising you find toads. Frogs only tend to move long distances when the weather is wet, so maybe you've been getting some rain or cooler temps? Most critters are always looking to expand their territory if possible, even if it doesn't work out.
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